Tag Archives: feminism

The Medium is the Message

Marshall McLuhan coined the term “the medium is the message” in 1964. It essentially means the medium through which a message is transmitted affects the message itself. He goes much deeper than this in his book Understanding Media but that’s the essence of what the term means.

If that doesn’t make sense to you, consider this: the exact same words transmitted through a book, a newspaper and via TV will reach different people and how they interpret the information will be different.

I use this as a lead in to how I feel about people sharing links online. Links don’t exist in a vacuum – the site that is linked to is important. Essentially, the link is the site.

This post is motivated by an incident earlier this week when I seriously lost my shit at someone on Facebook and now I have a bunch of people being all Judgey McJudgerson on me. The first part of this story  was a young woman sharing a post on Facebook detailing how a guy harassed her and several other women on a tram in Melbourne. Then someone I had considered a friend posting a link from a hate site dedicated solely to abusing feminists saying the post he was sharing proved the young woman who posted the story was in the wrong.

The big reason? The harasser was “autistic”. This apparently means his threatening behavior to women (and he ONLY behaved this way to women) was excusable and the evil feminists are in the wrong.

Side note: I think the sharing of social media posts where someone accuses someone else of something with no more evidence than a photo is questionable at best. Sometimes the accusation is sexist harassment, sometimes it’s racist, sometimes it’s as simple as “here’s a photo of the person who stole my laptop”. My feeling is unless you know the original poster personally and can verify facts with them, if you don’t see evidence more convincing than a photograph you should think long and hard before sharing it. Use video of nasty public incidents, people!

And as I said, I seriously lost my shit at the person who posted the misogynist link responding to the original post as they seemed to think that such a disgusting post from such a disgusting site should be taken as evidence that the evil feminist was in the wrong and was actually discriminating against people with autism.

If you’re at all familiar with my reactions to people I consider to be arseholes, in this case I ended up at the extreme end of my reaction spectrum. There were a couple of reasons for this:

  • First – the choice of site to link from is inexcusable.
  • Second – he kept asserting he was reasonable and pro feminist. Just because he’s sharing a hate filled post from a hate filled site, how could I possibly think he was endorsing their hate?
  • Finally – When I made it clear his attitude was making me sick and I didn’t want to hear from him any more he kept responding along the lines of why wouldn’t I engage with him because he’s so reasonable. Which is just fucking rude in my book. Feel free to consider me a drama queen for getting angry when someone refuses to respect my desire to be left alone.

The big thing right at the centre of this is can you divorce yourself from the central message of a website when you promote a link from that site as being the truth? He thinks yes, I think most definitely no. If you share a link from a hate site saying it is the truth you are at least tacitly endorsing the web site as a whole. When the link is consistent with the central message of the hate site (as it was in this case) I believe it’s reasonable for people to consider you are explicitly endorsing the site.

If you share a link from a site like infowars you come across as a paranoid bigoted idiot. If you share a link from an anti-vaxxer site it seems like you’re ok with spreading the dangerous lie that vaccines are bad. If you share links from a hate site you have to expect people to think you’re ok with their message of hate.

As I kept getting told he didn’t understand how I could think he was endorsing the hate site just because he was spreading their message as the truth I resorted to hyperbole to illustrate the issue.

Imagine instead of a guy harassing women on a tram, it’s a guy dressed up in a nazi uniform (swastikas and all) shouting “sieg heil” at Jewish people entering and leaving a synagogue. One of the worshipers posts his photo on Facebook to shame him and raise awareness of the problem. You share a link from an overt neo-nazi site that claims the man in question was autistic and therefore it’s the evil Jews who were in the wrong.

How the fuck could you say with a straight face that you’re not endorsing anti-semitism when you say the anti-semitic article from the neo-nazi site is the truth?

This still didn’t get through so I said “fuck it, you’re a cunt, I’m out.”

If you think me being aggressive to what I see an unconscionable behaviour is worse than someone promoting misogynist hate and being too fucking self absorbed to even see it then I have a problem with your priorities. If you want to call yourself a supporter of a marginalised group but switch from championing their cause to criticising them (and promoting blatant hate sites) the instant their actions push you out of your comfort zone then I think you can go fuck yourself.

I might have been overly aggressive for some people’s tastes. I might have even been obnoxious.

But I wasn’t fucking wrong.

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Filed under feminism, Internet

Men’s Rights Activists – Shut The Fuck Up!

I turned my recent blog post into a video and here it is:

I’ve been very happy with the overwhelmingly positive response the original post received across various social media but the video brought the truly abysmal “men’s rights activists” out of the primordial slime in a way the blog post didn’t. I’m assuming reading isn’t their forte. The wave of hate was like old school YouTube trolls. I haven’t been subjected to it on this scale myself for years. I feel it gave me a tiny insight into the sort of hate women who dare to speak up get every day and it really highlighted how vile these MRA losers are.

It isn’t as though I’m surprised but both the blog post and video were relatively mild – suggesting that it’s actually in men’s best interests to pick up their game in relation to women. What I got in response was a tsunami of butthurt manbabies bleating about how their pathetic worthless lives are someone else’s fault. I was tempted to rip into them via comments like I used to do a few years ago but honestly, the level of stupid was too much to bother with. When someone wants to say statistics reported consistently by law enforcement and health authorities across the western world are not true “just because” then there’s only one response they deserve: SHUT THE FUCK UP!

I went to town with the block and delete on YouTube (and to a much lesser extent here) rather than simply ignoring the neanderthals for a number of reasons:

  1. Because I can. And I enjoy doing it. And there’s nothing the whiny, self-important losers can do to stop me. I like to remind them exactly where the power lies in this situation.
  2. I have no desire to give these hateful scum a platform. You losers can go back to your circle-jerk forums and soft cock subreddits and make each other “feel better” as much as you like. Go ahead and make your own videos if you want but you don’t get to use mine for your agenda. What’s that? You’re that special blend of gutless and talentless that means you can’t do that? Awww, that’s a shame.
  3. I actually think I have a responsibility to not give them a platform. Their poison is spread far enough without me contributing to it. In my opinion, NOT blocking these idiots and deleting their comments is an active avoidance of responsibility.
  4. I really enjoy the thought of these absolute morons losing it when they realise I’ve taken away their precious “rights” and “censored” them. Their idiotic belief that they are entitled to anything they want is pretty much their central problem and the thought of them choking on their righteous man-tears makes me happy.

No matter what their argument, for me (if I was going to waste time engaging with them) it always comes back to what’s your point? You say I’m wrong… and therefore? With all these whiners, their point is obvious: women are bad, there isn’t a problem, I’m the one who’s hard done by. I can see right through you and you’re barely worth the time to say shut the fuck up.

There will always be people who think “arguments” put forward by idiots should be countered rather than ignored. These people are either much more patient than me or simply don’t have the experience of dealing with idiots. Whether it’s a climate change denier, a creationist, a conspiracy nutbag, or an MRA neckbeard they do not start with the intention of engaging in a conversation or debate. Their sole intention and only tactic is to shout down or wear down anyone with a different opinion. They don’t listen to counterpoints, weigh the evidence and then proceed. They ignore anything that counters their world view (no matter how self-evident or well-supported it is) and grind on with their agenda.

And they will. Not. Stop. EVER. Their aim is to one way or another shut down their opposition, not to have the most valid evidence recognised. I learned this years ago. So all they get from me is shut the fuck up!

There were a few variants of moron in the comments and I’ll address each of them now.

First, the deniers. The ones who say there isn’t a problem. It’s made up by the feminists. Men have it worse. My blanket response: Shut the fuck up you worthless scum. The fact that you blithely state the opposite of reality and expect to be taken seriously is all I need to know about you. You are the abusers. You are the rapists. You are the ones who grope and assault women in bars and don’t see anything wrong with it. When you see your friends do it, you don’t pull them into line. You laugh because this sort of abuse is all a joke to you. 

I want to make this clear. This is not a case of “I disagree with you”. You disgust me. You are worthless scum and utterly beneath contempt. I don’t engage with you because knowing you exist makes me physically sick. Just shut the fuck up and get out of my life. 

Second are the ones who want to obsess over one sentence or even one word. Their idea of proving how smart they are is to get into a pointless argument over semantics while ignoring the actual issue. “Hmmmm, well the definition of that word is blah which means that you said this and therefore there isn’t a problem.” Shut the fuck up! What you are is a coward. A worthless sniveling worm twisting and writhing because you don’t have the guts to take any responsibility and face the issue head on. Grow a spine or shut the fuck up.

Third were the martyrs who couldn’t take it on board when I said one simple thing: of course men have problems and seriously problems that are often not given the focus they deserve but let’s make that a different conversation. Derailing a much needed conversation about violence towards women because “you have problems too” is shallow and narcissistic at best but more often is a deliberate and dishonest tactic to shut down any proper discussion.

Why are you so fucking insecure that nobody can make a point without it being about you? If you get the feeling nobody cares about your problems it’s probably because you’re a spoilt little baby who can’t stand it if you’re not the centre of attention. Get it together or shut the fuck up.

Then there’s the darling little keyboard warriors who threaten me. I get that this is your modus operandi for women: making rape threats, making death threats, threatening their privacy and their family. Of course there are cases where this works and outspoken women won’t make public appearances because of the threats made against them. Guess what? I’ve been doing this for 8 years and I spend a lot of time getting in people’s faces. This means I’ve been dealing with threats from pretty much day one.

Over the years I’ve announced exactly where I was going to be and when I was going to be there dozens of times. And you know how many of these tough guys have showed up in person to accost me? Precisely zero. I’m not the one hiding behind a screen you pathetic losers, your threats make me laugh. For fuck’s sake, I’ve had Stormfront, actual Nazis pissed off at me, discussing how they were going to get me on their White Power forums. “Men’s rights activists” are a sad fucking joke.

So that’s what it comes down to. Men’s rights activists can shut the fuck up because everything about them is worthless. There are a lot of people who make very eloquent arguments as to why MRA shit stains are wrong so there’s no point in me re-writing those points. This is about catharsis for me and everyone else who’s sick of your bullshit. You’re pathetic, weak, cowardly losers who go on and on about masculinity but you’ll never be man enough to own up to your own failings. Everyone with a shred of decency is sick of your bullshit, just shut the fuck up up and fuck right off! 

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Filed under General Angriness

One “RadFem” doesn’t tell you anything about feminism – Why can’t people think?

There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see an example of someone online spouting some ridiculous rubbish as if they are revealing some deep truth. I’m not talking about differences of opinion, I’m talking about instances where the briefest moment of reflection would reveal to all but the stupidest person that what they are about to post is utter bullshit. So why don’t these people think before they post? Well, it’s not like they get punished for their stupidity. And they have role models in major media outlets and political parties who *should* be punished when they spew deliberate lies but never are.

So why should anyone care about thinking before they talk shit? Here’s where I start to sound like an idealist. You become a better person when you apply thought and consideration to everything you do. You don’t have to agree with me. Believe it or not, I’m actually mature enough to accept the fact that there are people who see things differently to me, place importance on different things and want different outcomes from life. But if I can take apart your bullshit with a single sentence then you need to shut the fuck up.

My latest bout of frustration was triggered by a young man on Twitter who declared that feminists think all vaginal sex is rape. I’m not naming him because I’m not trying to start a witch hunt, I’m trying to start a conversation. My first impulse was ignore it – not worth bothering with that level of stupidity. Then he followed it up saying how since watching a video that told him feminists think all vaginal sex is rape he’d given up on people. I get annoyed when my twitter stream is polluted with shit like this. Obviously an easy step for me to take would be to unfollow this guy and in many cases that’s what I would have done. I was pissed off at his ignorance but I was also giving him the benefit of the doubt, assuming he could be reasoned with so I responded (in what was quite a restrained way for me) tweeting: “you know you’re talking utter fucking horseshit, right? That is NOT said by feminists. It just isn’t.”

His response was to link to a blog that was the source of his ire. The blog was obviously written by a seriously damaged individual. Or maybe by a dude who’s trying to discredit feminists. Or maybe by a female so desperate for notoriety that she’s fallen into the trap of thinking all attention is good attention. Whoever writes it, it’s drivel and will tell you nothing meaningful about feminism. And being able to trot out actual real humans who believe this sort of crap and identify themselves as feminist is pretty much meaningless. I can give you members of major political parties who seriously believe that a subterranean race of shape shifting lizard people hold every position of power on earth. Does that mean they speak for every other member of those political parties? 

Here’s where someone who doesn’t think (him) is vulnerable to someone who does think (me). When someone says/does something I disagree with I don’t simply focus on their words, I consider their motivation. I also consider what they actually said, not what they think they said or what they want me to see.

This guy has mentioned a video but given a link to an extremely obscure blog written by someone who calls themselves a “radfem”. There’s no way this guy has randomly stumbled on this blog so I ask him for his source and he points me to a video made by a well-known anti-feminist neckbeard on on YouTube (who I won’t dignify with a link). This video makes the same ridiculous assertion: because I have found something written by someone claiming to be a radfem it is legitimate to make the all encompassing statement that “feminists” think this. And the comments are a truly horrific parade of hate and bile. For every “get real, this is in no way representative of the feminist movement” there are dozens of “YES IT ARE! FEMIBITCHEZ JUST HATES MENS!”

This is where motivation becomes important. What was the video makers motivation for his statements? He isn’t an unintelligent person. I’ll go out on a limb and say he knows the statement “feminists say all vaginal sex is rape” is a lie. So someone who is capable of intelligent discourse makes a deliberately misleading and inflammatory statement that he knows will whip his reasonably large following into a frenzy. Why? A quest for notoriety? He really hates feminists and doesn’t care if he has to resort to lies to score points? He’s a pathetic, insecure loser who needs to convince himself that all of his failings are someone else’s fault? Maybe a combination of all of these, who knows?

But if you’ve repeated this lie (or similar lies) without thinking, what’s your motivation? The young man who triggered this rant acknowledged (when I pulled him up) that the statement “feminists think all vaginal sex is rape” is untrue. But he tweeted it. Multiple times. And he enjoyed the video. So what’s the motivation for spreading unfair stereotypes without any critical thought? People of all genders, races and creeds are guilty of doing this at some point so don’t get defensive and point out someone else doing it*. You can’t control other people’s behaviour – you can control yours. And using someone else’s bad behaviour to justify yours is a cop-out. The fact that you can point to someone on a different part of the political/racial/gender spectrum who is also saying/doing fucked things doesn’t make you any less fucked. That just means you’re both fucked.

So there’s my challenge for 2014: THINK! Think more. Don’t stop thinking. Acknowledge your error when someone points out your lazy thinking or total lack of thinking. You’ll never know everything so stop pretending you do. As soon as you think you can draw a line under any topic and stop thinking about it, that’s when you start moving backwards. Thinking isn’t always easy. It isn’t always comfortable. But it’s always the right thing to do. Think more. And bullshit less.

 

*A BRIEF NOTE: I know it’s possible to argue that I’m doing the exact thing I say you shouldn’t do – trying to modify someone’s behaviour. What I’m actually doing is attempting to start a conversation. If you obsess over this one point you’re aren’t clever – you’re insecure and the challenge to think and take responsibility scares you. Grow the fuck up.

P.S. Did it spook you to realise I knew what you were thinking?

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Filed under General Angriness